As a thought leader in our industry, we’re keen to demonstrate how FM can be transformed – from its unfortunately all-too-common perception as an expensive nuisance or necessary evil, to a key catalyst for better performance in trading, staff retention, productivity and customer satisfaction.

So what better way to highlight FM’s potential for good than for us to gather a selection of senior representatives, to discuss why abandoning conventional FM practices is critical to solving the recurring problems within this type of service?

Earlier today we hosted a group of CFOs and senior staff, who came together to find out about our secret to taming FM budgets through rigorous processes, robust data, and a commitment to genuine partnership with our clients.

After our CEO Jeff Dewing kicked off the event with an introductory speech, KFC’s CFO, Chris Drew, painted a detailed picture of how his company has turned around their FM – from a source of noise and frustration to a high-performing function that is controllable, delivers quality support to the business, and helps execute changes to business strategy. The figures Chris provided highlighted just how valuable a shift in attitude to FM can be, and he also shared with us how important it was, initially, for the board to understand how forced process, robust data and committed culture could tackle longstanding issues, in order for them to make the necessary leap of faith.

After this fascinating session, Peter Brumby – a 30-year veteran of the FM industry who has represented both client and as provider, former MD at Mace Macro and former Estates Director for the NHS – chaired a lively panel discussion. A group of industry specialists – Chris Drew, PizzaExpress’s FD Dave Murphy, and Grant Thornton Partner Usman Malik – offered a range of perspectives on how FM can control costs and meet business objectives, covering topics such as cost control vs cost reduction, how to manage resistance to new rigorous process, ROI expectations, and how finance functions can represent control of FM as an indicator of a well-run business (and so support a higher valuation of the company).

“Finance leaders see across an organisation like no other function, and look to direct the business to where the best return on effort and investment will occur,” said Jeff Dewing. “So we believe it’s important that operational teams understand the finance team’s perspective, to put together clear relevant business cases, and that, to make sound judgements, finance teams have good data they can have faith in.

“The problem with Traditional FM is that the data is poor; it’s totally unreliable. But modern technological innovation, and the application of robust forced process, enables us to properly measure what’s going on in facilities. There’s no longer a lack of confidence in data, provided there are sound controls governing FM activity.

“I’m confident that we’ve highlighted how FM no longer needs to be viewed as a nuisance, a trouble maker that must be endured, but as a catalyst activity,” he continued. “We’re delighted to be able to raise and discuss these issues among such distinguished company, and look forward to our next such event.”